What are Teller Cash Dispensers (TCD)?

Teller cash dispensers (TCDs) are pieces of equipment that get overlooked at many banks and credit unions. Often ignored in favor of the teller cash recyclers (more on that later) or interactive teller machines, the TCD has a unique role that can make it continue to be relevant for the right financial institution.

For those unfamiliar, a TCD is a piece of banking equipment that tellers use to quickly get a set amount of cash for a customer/member. They are effectively a freestanding safe that counts and dispenses money without needing to be opened.

Did COVID-19 kill cash?

In an article on COVID-19’s impact on cash, ATM Marketplace notes that Federal Reserve surveys have found an increase in people holding cash. Compared to late 2019, more individuals are keeping greater amounts of cash on hand, despite the (unproven) fear of virus transmission.

Lobby productivity for TCDs

Teller Cash Dispensers are all about teller efficiency. They provide many benefits to financial institutions that need to service several cash requests throughout the day.

Here are some ways a TCD can help improve speed and efficiency:

  • Cash output is extremely fast: TCDs dispense the exact amount of cash the teller needs in seconds. In fact, TCDs are 99.99% accurate when dispensing the cash, eliminating human error and the need for tellers to count the cash/change two or three times.
  • Large capacity of different denominations: A TCD can have large reserves of every type of dollar and coin denomination. This reduces special trips to get specific denominations for a teller’s drawer.
  • Removal of worn bills: Depending on the model, the dispenser may be able to separate and remove any worn out or torn bills that happen to be put into the TCD.
  • Reduces vault buy time: Most TCDs have large cash reserves. These reserves can reduce the need for the teller to get more cash for their drawer. This involves things like dual controls and recording the deposit. On average, a TCD brings deposit time down from 20 minutes to just two minutes, greatly reducing wait time and keeping teller lines moving.

TCD workspace

From a workspace standpoint, TCDs have some features that make them easy to use in any financial institution.

TCDs are fairly compact devices. They allow banks and credit unions more options for how they set up their lobbies. Believe it or not, they are thin enough to fit between adjacent teller stations. Additionally, some units have dual-side dispensing that lets two tellers use the same machine.

Alternatively, the security and safety of cash storage offered by TCDs allow financial institutions to arrange their tellers in a more open layout of individual tables for customers or members to do their banking. In these arrangements, the amount (and various denominations) of cash in TCDs also greatly reduces the amount of cash in a teller’s drawer. They also eliminate the transportation of cash across the open floor during business hours.

Benefits of TCDs: Focusing on people

The best value you can gain from TCDs is improved customer service. Fast, automatic dispensing allows tellers to have better interactions with the customers/members. It’s easier for a teller to maintain eye contact, make small talk, and promote additional services when he or she does not need to focus on pulling cash and counting it.  This makes sure the encounter is fast and makes customers feel they had the teller’s complete attention. It may seem minor, but customers and members are always grateful.

TCDs vs. TCRs

A major challenge to the widespread adoption of TCDs is teller cash recyclers (TCRs). TCRs are very similar to TCDs, except that the machine is capable of both giving cash and taking cash deposits. While this makes TCRs more flexible than TCDs, it does not always make them better.

A TCR is going to be valuable for a teller location that has a lot of general cash transactions. Since the machine can take deposits, it reduces the need for tellers to make trips to move money to the vault if several deposits are made in a row. Additionally, since the machine’s cash is resupplied by deposits, it will likely need to be loaded less frequently than a TCD.

However, TCDs do have one major advantage over TCRs. A TCD can typically hold much more cash than a TCR (which relies on recycling deposits). This means that TCDs excel in locations that consistently need to dispense much more cash than they receive. For instance, while a TCR might be great for a lobby teller. Whereas a TCD can be much better for drive-up lanes where cash dispensing is more common than cash deposits.

You can also find out more about the difference between TCDs and TCRs in this video published by ARCA.

Future of Teller Cash Dispensers with Equips

Already using teller cash dispensers? Equips can help you maintain them through our expert equipment management system, the Equips web application. Equips gives you the tools to get help fast when your TCDs, or any other equipment, breaks down. By connecting you to the right service vendor in as little as 15 seconds, you will experience more uptime and your customer-facing staff will thank you. To learn more, schedule a demo below!

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